World bank consults with children regarding its safeguard policies

World bank consults with children regarding its safeguard policies

Tirana, 2 April 2015– Children’s Human Rights Centre of Albania – CRCA, with the support of Bank Information Center World – BIC, held today a consultative meeting with Albanian children and adolescents from various schools of the capital, in the framework of the revision of the World Banks Safeguard policies and the importance of engaging children as important stakeholders in the Banks processes. The consultation with 12 to 18 year old Albanian children and adolescents had the aim to ensure that children’s voices are included in the review process of the World Bank Safeguard polices and give recommendations on how to improve and minimize the negative impact the Banks projects can have in the society.

The consultation with children and  adolescents focused not only in understanding the rules that govern and make applicable World Bank projects, but also give serious and well considered recommendation from children, including ways in with the World Bank safeguards could be revised to improve project outcomes for children and adolescents. This is the first time that children and adolescents from Albania have been consulted, 25 years from the first publication of the safeguards and Albania is the ninth country to undergo this process after Peru, Yemen, India, Uganda etc.

During the consultation, children and adolescents were able to give suggestions and recommendations on how the World Bank policies can protect their rights while implementing a project in a country and create a better future for children worldwide. Children and adolescents who participated in the consultation came from differenct schools of Tirana like, At Zef Pellumbi, Lidhja e Prizrenit, 26 Nëntori, Ismail Qemali, Petro Nini Luarasi, Xhezmi Delli, Sami Frashëri etc.

During a one-day consultation the participants held discussions, group activities and learned about the World Bank structure, role and World Bank safeguards, along with the importance of the participation of children and adolescents in evaluating the impact of World Bank policies. Albanian youth and adolescents made recommendations for the World Bank on improving the quality of assessments by ensuring impartial and highly specialized field experts before the approval of a project to better protect children’s rights. The participants also emphasized the need of the World Bank to assess how projects will impact children before carrying out those projects and to consult with children regularly as part of such assessments

World Bank safeguard policies are designed to avoid and minimize negative social and environmental impacts of Bank-financed projects, particularly with regard to the poor and most vulnerable. Children’s participation in the review process underlines the advocating power that civil society organizations put in advancing children’s rights in the regions where the Bank operates, especially in countries where they are often among the poorest and most marginalized. CRCA Albania will continue its work in advancing children’s rights and advocate for children’s voices in all decision-making processes.

For more information, please contact:

Mersila Ballo
HRH, CRCA Albania
Tel: 0694060392; email: mersila.ballo@crca.al

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